(The Center Square) — Illinois was one of three states that went ahead with primaries Tuesday, and preliminary numbers show voter turnout for Tuesday’s election was low.
Coronavirus fears kept some voters away and led to some election judges to call off, causing some precincts to open late and forcing the relocation of other polling places.
The poll workers who did show up Tuesday spent a large part of their day cleaning common surfaces.
Matt Dietrich, public information officer with the Illinois State Board of Elections, said the primary election was unlike any other.
“This is unprecedented,” he said. “This has never happened before in any of our lifetimes. Having an election held during this type of crisis is far from ideal.”
Dietrich said there was a significant increase in mail-in ballots, and about 160,000 of those have yet to arrive. Those uncounted votes have the potential to change the results to close contests.
“That could be a significant factor in changing the numbers that were reported overnight from election day,” Dietrich said.
Official voter turnout numbers won’t be available for two weeks.